The woods this time of night were eerie, something Sans had become accustomed to. Mt. Ebott was filled with some beautiful scenery, at least… on the outside. There was something always bittersweet for the skeleton monster about the place, the very underground they were trapped in not even miles away, taunting… teasing… reminding him constantly of his multiple experiences there.
Even so, Sans had been coming here in the middle of the night, again and again. Something about the mountain, even though it held such a curse of memory for him, kept drawing him back. Humans said it was the magical call of the siren, but didn’t those live in water? Others said it was a magic beckoning, seeking out those who hurt the most, but…
If it was magic, Sans was pretty sure he or some other monsters would have felt that by now.
Perhaps… The magic that the humans spoke of, was merely a charm. Subtle, magical, inviting… As far as he knew, those probably existed, right?
Sans wasn’t much of a nonbeliever about anything, anymore. Ever since the resets, ever since witnessing time change and go backward, repeat itself, over and over again? Sans figured anything was possible, at this point.
Tonight really wasn’t that much different than any other night, save the fact that Sans had very little light to work with. His flaring magic in his left eye honestly remedied the New Moon for the most part, though, so it didn’t bother him so much.
The skeleton surprised himself by stumbling upon a clearing, though, and a confused, sleepy thought wracked his mind. He had walked this same path many times, and he was fairly sure there wasn’t such a clearing in his way before…
A frown tilts the skeleton’s normal grin downwards, his eyelights brightening and shrinking as he glances around the area.
Fireflies darted here and there, softly glowing, shrinking, growing, ever, ever dancing in their lights and wings to draw in mates of their own kind and all sorts of fascinated children alike.
Sans sighed, seating himself on a barren, whitewood stump. Some sort of large birch? He wasn’t sure; he knew a lot about trees since he read in books in his spare time during the many years spent underground, but he couldn’t quite identify the stump he had found here.
As he sat himself, though, the hobbying dendrophiliac found himself pausing. There was a certain, different vibe emanating around this place… especially the new seat he had found.
This… This felt old. It tasted of salt and earth, and buzzed of magic. Suddenly, Sans felt himself standing again, immediately on edge. This didn't feel right. Something about this place was very off, and Sans was already very suspicious person.
“I haven’t felt such anxiety here in a very long time… Let alone from another monster,” a soft, nearly ethereal voice rings quietly across the clearing.
Sans whips his head around, magic flaring to life on his fingertips, sparking a bit as if he’s ready to summon a gaster blaster any moment now, fling his opponent across the clearing, anything. He was ready. He wouldn’t be caught off guard again.
“No need to ready your magic, dear one…”
The voice comes closer, this time, and in a specific direction. Sans hisses out in surprise and spins around… only to be faced with a peculiar sight. A lithe, soft-looking woman treaded out of the brush. She didn’t seem to be clothed, but white flowers and vines covered her body to make her appropriate. Her hair was long and silver, full of waves and curls… wild, like the silver magic brushing along her ivory skin. The most obvious item about her was the twisted, white horn sprouting from her forehead.
This magic reeked of old earth magic, and glamor. A disguise, but… That horn was awfully telling. A unicorn? Those weren’t really supposed to actually be a thing… Again, the skeptic in him arose, but the experience from his tragedies spoke louder.
“... unicorn, huh? now i feel kinda rude… shoulda made it a point to announce yourself sooner,”
The creature stared at Sans for the longest time… before she finally smiled widely and laughed her little heart out. With all of the interesting things she met in her very long lifetime, this is the most hilarious meeting by far! No one has ever made a joke to her, right off the bat.
“You’re the funniest little creature I think I’ve ever met.”
The laughter from the monster was soft, light, and made the air taste of earth and flora. The wandering skeleton took this as a cue to relax. There was so much magic in the air, how had he never felt or seen this before? The trees and stars were all the same, though the constellation had shifted a bit with the season, but this? What a stellar mistake on his senses.
As if sensing the tension in his mind, the unicorn creature brushed forward, a move so graceful and smooth that it was almost unseen. She sat on the edge of the large stump, a little close for Sans’ liking, so he backed off a bit. He didn't trust her, ethereal or not. She was powerful. The ozone of magic was nearly choking him out.
“Most people don't find me here. Only once a decade or so… No one ever believes the tale, either, so no one seeks me out,” a light sigh frosted from the lips of the creature, and Sans found himself registering the current temperature. It was warm. Was that just the magic escaping? If a creature spent so much time away, gathering energy…
Sans twitched a bit, deciding to study her further. The scientist in the back of his mind was curious, the veteran in the front cautious. An unyielding mix.
“so, how'd i get so lucky, huh?” Finally came his reply.
“Flattering of you to consider yourself lucky!” The nuances of modern conversation went over this monster's head. She was old, clearly. “You've been walking this path for quite a while now. Nobody ever comes around so often… I got curious.”
“you've been watchin’ the whole time?” He felt a little wary, learning that someone had been following him. How had he not noticed? Had Sans let his guard slip so far?
“More like sensing. I didn't start investigating until a couple of weeks ago. I'm sorry I didn't reveal myself sooner… I'm shy, you see.”
Shy, huh? That seemed a little out of place. Taking a breath he didn't need, Sans gathered his gunction and took a seat on the large remnant of a tree. At least the wood base was wide enough to provide a little space between the two of them. Enough for Sans to slip out of the way, if need be.
“shy? or nervous?” He muttered, sticking one hand in his hoodie pockets whilst the other tapped a finger against his patella. A quiet, click click click , added to the ambience.
“Both. There's very few iterations of my genepool for a reason, you know. We were prime game back in the day,” the unicorn replied, tilting her head in his direction and angling her body a bit to stay focused on the other. That horn of hers glimmered in the glow of her magic… Sans wanted to shake it off, but her magic crept over him unwillingly. Jesus, she was glittery.
“ah… didn't catch your name. they call me sans.”
A soft smile, accented by a slender hand pressing to her chest in delight. “Monoceros.”
“the constellation?” A small thrill went through Sans at the idea of talking to someone embodied in the stars, but he calmed his metaphorical space boner immediately.
“I'm surprised! Most people don't care to learn those, anymore.”
“well, you're a monster, eh? figures there'd be a legend based off one that managed to stay put outside the barrier.”
A small frown came to Mono's plush lips, her pale eyes gliding to look elsewhere in the clearing. “The barrier… I was so gleeful when it was broken. I thought things would change… but they did not. Even still, I was afraid to come forth and risk my ivory.”
Sans spent a moment chewing on his thoughts. He always did that, taking a long time to respond properly to touchy subjects. He had learned, very well over his many chances at life, to listen and process carefully. “well. why'd you reveal yourself to me, then?”
Those pale eyes returned to the skeleton, the unicorn smiling just a bit once more. “Bones are similar to ivory, are they not? Why would you harm me for such a reason? Also…” a short pause, where Monoceros looked up at the stars in the sky. “I feel brighter, tonight. Bolder. I want to change.”
To hell with it, then. “then come back down the mountain with me.”
“What?!” Wide eyes, focused on Sans once more, glittered with shock. “Down the mountain? But that's where all of the humans live!”
“hell, it's where all the monsters live. i've spent a long time cooped up where i shouldn't have been, alright? i don't like the thought of leaving someone else to the same fate.” Sans’ reply was surprisingly heartfelt, touching, even, to Mono's soul. She could feel the warmth in her chest and the smile pulling on her lips as she stood.
“Down the mountain… Hmm…” The unicorn gazed down the path leading away from the clearing, back in the direction from whence Sans came.
Looking back to him, Mono grabbed Sans’ hand with a grin, shocking him. He jerked a bit but caught himself, although he stilled while sweating nervously.
“Fuck it. Down the mountain!”
A relief swept through Sans and he held back a sigh, a small grin reforming to his mouth.